Counseling & Guidance » Tips to Study Effectively for Tests

Tips to Study Effectively for Tests

  • Begin Early - Start at least 1 week prior to a unit test and 1-2 weeks prior to a final.  This way you, not the test, will be in command.

  • Identify trouble spots - Work on understanding trouble spots first.  Don't hesitate to look to other sources (including your teacher) for help.

  • Study in spurts - Several one-hour reviews are much more effect than one marathon cram session.

  • Be tricky - mnemonic (ne-mon-ic) devices are extremely effective.  Make up a sentence (or word) with the same initial letters as the list you need to memorize.  Ex.  If you are trying to memorize the names of the 5 Great Lakes, you can think of the word HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior)

  • Don't stare - be active - Outline, diagram, re-word, and condense main ideas, recite lists aloud.  The more  ways you see and use the information, the better you'll remember it.

  • Pay attention - Don't ignore in-class reviews.  Listen for clues like, "There are several reasons that,"  "This relates to," and of course, "This is on the test."

  • Index it - If there's something you just can't get, write it down on an index card.  Carry the card with you everywhere and go over it every chance you get - between classes, on the bus, just before bed, etc.

  • Make up your test - As you study, look for points that would make good test questions.  Write them down and test yourself as you review.

  • Do it all - Go through all materials at least once the night before, and skim your notes just before the test.

  • Sleep on it - Don't pull an all-nighter just to fall asleep during the test.  You'll do much better after a good night's sleep.  It helps to eat something shortly before the test.